"Connie's Two Quilts
While Connie Papalazaros was still quite young, her mother Evdokia (Eve) began assembling a 'prika' (dowry or trousseau) for her daughter, in preparation for getting married. Evdokia was being true to her Kastellorizian origins - her daughter's prika would not be complete without at least one 'paploma' (quilt) She ordered these two quilts from Panagioti Zoumbatli a Sydney-based 'paplomatas' (quilt-maker). He, like Connie's parents, had migrated from the tiny Greek island of Kastellorizo.
Evdokia Kiossoglou came to Australia in 1935, married Agapitos (Peter) Pengly in the north Queensland town of Innisfail, just at the time that the Greek Orthodox Church was being established there. They had four children: Connie, Pauline, Thaao, and George. Soon after Connie was born, the family moved to Sydney and lived first in Surry Hills and later in Kingsford, which has always been a popular 'Greek' suburb of Sydney. 'Mum used to walk to the Cassie Club!' Connie recalls. Sydney's well known Castellorizian Club has played an important role in the life of the city's Greek Australian community.
Connie eventually returned to Brisbane (taking her 'prika', of course!) and married John, who had migrated from Kastellorizo in 1950. As with so many other Greek-Australian women in Queensland, Connie started off using her quilts, but the hotter climate meant that they were eventually replaced by lighter bedcovers. Connie and John have always owned their own snack bar business, and their traditional 'Queenslander' house where they still are today."
[Written by Lula Saunders, adapted from interview 6/9/00 for the National Quilt Register]